Demystifying Teeth Cleanings: Understanding Different Types

Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for overall health, and regular dental cleanings are important in achieving this goal. San Antonio teeth cleanings remove plaque, tartar, and stains from your teeth, preventing the onset of various dental problems such as tooth decay and loss. 

Here are some various types of teeth cleanings and their significance:

Routine dental cleaning

Regular teeth cleanings or prophylaxis, are recommended every six months for individuals with good oral health. A dental hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth and gums during this procedure. They will use special instruments to scrape plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces, particularly in hard-to-reach areas. This process helps prevent gum disease and fight bad breath.

Deep cleaning (scaling and root planing)

Scaling and root planing are recommended for individuals with gum disease, particularly in its early stages. This type of cleaning focuses on removing tartar buildup from below the gum line. The procedure involves two steps: scaling and root planning. Scaling involves the removal of plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces and gum pockets. Root planing smoothes out the rough spots on the tooth roots, preventing further plaque and tartar buildup and allowing the gums to properly reattach to the teeth. Deep cleaning is performed under local anesthesia to ensure comfort.

Periodontal maintenance

Periodontal maintenance cleanings are necessary for individuals diagnosed with gum disease and who have already undergone deep cleaning. These cleanings are performed every three to four months to prevent the recurrence or progression of gum disease. Periodontal maintenance involves a thorough examination of the gums, removal of plaque and tartar, and monitoring of the gum pocket depths. The dentist will also provide recommendations and guidance on improving oral hygiene habits and maintaining healthy gums such as brushing twice daily and flossing.

Air polishing

Air polishing is a more advanced and gentle method of removing stains and discoloration from the teeth. This procedure uses a special handpiece that sprays a high-pressure stream of air, water, and fine particles to remove surface stains caused by food, beverages, and tobacco use. Air polishing is effective for individuals who have heavy extrinsic stains on their teeth. It is a quick and painless procedure that leaves the teeth looking cleaner and brighter.

Prophylaxis for orthodontic patients

Orthodontic patients, who wear braces or other orthodontic appliances, require special teeth cleanings to maintain good oral health. The brackets and wires of orthodontic appliances can make it challenging to clean the teeth thoroughly, leading to an increased risk of plaque and tartar buildup. Orthodontic prophylaxis involves thoroughly cleaning the teeth, including around the brackets and wires, to prevent tooth decay and gum problems.

Implant cleanings

Dental implant cleanings are designed for individuals with dental implants to replace missing teeth. Implants require regular maintenance to ensure longevity and prevent complications such as implant failure or peri-implantitis (inflammation of the tissues around the implant). Implant cleanings involve gentle cleaning techniques and specialized instruments to remove plaque and tartar from the implant surfaces.

Speak to your doctor at Mark A Porter, DDS to help you understand the benefits of teeth cleanings.